Sunday, September 1, 2013

A plea for safer crossings

Several dozen concerned members of the community turned out yesterday morning for a "vigil" to focus attention on the need to make our streets safer for everyone who uses them, whether pedestrian, biker, or vehicle driver. The catalyst for the event was the recent pedestrian/cyclist accident in the crosswalk at E. Madison near McGilvra Boulevard, which left one man hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. It was noted during the vigil that the injured pedestrian may be someone who lives in the neighborhood and has a family here. There was a moment of silence in support of his recovery.

Event organizer Bob Edmiston, a member of the Community Council, noted that the crosswalk in question has been the site of at least ten accidents in the last three years, and a total of 57 incidents have been recorded there over the last ten years.  He stated that safety concerns about the crossing were raised with the City prior to the accident. The mayor's attendance at yesterday's event--and the press coverage which ensued--may signal that this tragic incident has prompted a new awareness of the problem by those in a position to do something about it.


  1. This is very sad, we voiced a concern about this crosswalk back in June. You can see the email to the city and their response. The Mayor needs to step and take some action:

    June 30, 2013 8:55:27 PM PDT
    To Whom it May Concern,

    I am an active resident of Madison Park; where I and others frequently walk, run, and bicycle throughout the neighborhood. I have witnessed countless near miss accidents where motorist do not yield to pedestrian or bicyclists. Of particular concern are several cross-walk location along East Madison Street between McGilvra Bldv. and 43rd Avenue East. The thermoplastic painted cross-walk material is excessively aged and worn at these locations resulting in limited delineation and pour sight (particularly at night or during inclement weather conditions). Given the frequent use of these cross-walks by local residents and children; I would strongly urge SDOT to install/refresh the pavement markings. Otherwise it may just be a matter of time before a serious accident or death occurs which could have been mitigated.

    The city response:
    Dear XXXXX:

    Thank you for writing to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). We appreciate hearing observations from residents.

    Our team evaluates the condition of existing pavement markings yearly to determine which areas rank among the poorest quality and are in need of maintenance. Due to current budget constraints, SDOT had funding to remark a minimal number of crosswalks in 2013 out of approximately 6,000 crosswalks installed. The Pedestrian Master Plan (PMP) provides us with a priority ranking that helps us direct our resources to those locations that have the highest need. Factors, such as collision history, traffic volumes, land use, and economic/social equity, were considered for the ranking. The PMP ensures that we make our decisions on whether to address requests that we receive from our residents fairly and in an informed way.

    At this time, our 2013 remark list has been completed and approved and the crosswalks on East Madison Street between McGilvra Blvd E and E Howe Street did not rank high enough to make our 2013 remarking. However, we will add this location to our 2014 list of potential remarks.

    Thank you again for writing. If you have any questions or additional concerns, please feel free to contact our office directly at or (206) 684-7583. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.


    Gretchen Conrad
    Traffic Operations, Investigation and Implementation
    Seattle Department of Transportation

  2. Funny, but they seem to have a lot of paint for bike lanes.....


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